Government Shutdown and Financial Aid Processing
The Department of Education is currently assessing the effect of the government shutdown on processing FAFSA data and will be providing additional guidance to schools in the coming weeks.
Students, some of you may see a message on your Student Aid Report saying that eligibility for financial aid could not be determined and to contact the school.
Files for the current aid year (2018-2019) applications will be reviewed manually and if additional information is needed, students will see a task to complete on their Cal Central record under the My Finances tab. Click on View Awards to see the tasks.
Student aid applications for the upcoming aid year (2019-2020) will be re-evaluated once the shutdown is over.
The U.S. Department of Education advises that beginning January 9, 2019 schools can now accept copies of tax returns for calendar years 2016 or 2017 only if the tax return is signed by at least one taxpayer on page 2 of the return. All schedules and W-2 Wage Statements must also be submitted. For verification of nonfiling status, individuals are still required to obtain a verification of nonfiling (VNF) from the IRS (or other tax authorities if outside the U.S.). Taxpayers should be able to obtain such a letter starting January 14, 2019.
For families who cannot complete verification at this time, some options for payment of University fees are available:
California residents may apply for the co-payable Emergency Loan starting January 15th. However, students may not be able to apply if they have a past due bill. Review of the request may be delayed if there are prior unpaid Emergency Loans. A manager will review the new Emergency Loan request.
Students may opt to divide their fee payments into installments via the Fee Payment Plan. Learn more by clicking the Payment Options link in Cal Central under the My Finances Tab.
Students who have filed an aid application for 2018-2019 will be protected from the Cancel for Nonpayment policy. Please note: this does not protect a student from receiving a late registration fee if the fees are not paid by the due date set by the Registrar.
Financial Aid Disbusement Dates - Spring 2019
Spring financial aid disbursements will begin on Monday, January 14th for eligible students. Direct Deposit/EFT and refund checks will be processed after the 14th. We encourage you to complete all of your tasks in CalCentral as soon as possible, resolve any holds and enroll in a minimum of 6 units to ensure an on-time disbursement.
Changes to the Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request
The Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request is now available! This year the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office is introducing a new easy, mobile, and personalized process that will make navigating financial aid easier. For 2018-19, we are starting with the Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form. Beginning in 2019-20, all of our verification forms will be online!
You will be able to:
- Complete the request using your phone, tablet, or computer
- Upload documents from any device
- E-Sign documents
- Submit everything online
The 2018-19 Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form is now available on our new Berkeley Financial Aid Forms Website. Simply log in using your CalNet ID, click on the request button, choose the Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form, and start completing the form. More detailed instructions can be found through our website.
2019-20 Financial Aid Applications Available October 1
Each October the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the California Dream Act Application become available for the next academic year. It is important to complete your application as soon as possible to meet all financial aid deadlines. The application priority deadline is March 2. If you file after March 2, some types of financial aid may be limited. For more information, visit the FAFSA website and the Dream Act website.
Our staff is here to guide you and your family through the financial aid process from start to finish. Please complete your aid application and allow the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional support that can support you in achieving your educational goals.
Note: The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for FAFSA filers for the 2019-20 application cycle per the Department of Education. To ensure the accuracy of your FAFSA information, we strongly encourage students and families to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the 2018-19 FAFSA application.
Emergency Loan Program Dates
The Emergency Loan application for Spring 2019 will open on Tuesday, January 15th. Visit the Short Term Emergency Loan website for more information about Emergency Loans.
What's the Fastest Way to Receive Your Financial Aid Refund?
If you have not already signed up for Direct Deposit (a.k.a. Electronic Funds Transfer [EFT]) to receive your refunds directly to your bank account, you can still sign up via CalCentral! Activation may take up to seven business days. Until Direct Deposit/EFT is activated, paper refund checks are printed and held for you to pick up at Cal Student Central. Don't wait in line for a paper check this semester!
Financial Aid and Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) FAQS
All students are required to have insurance at UC Berkeley. Not all students or families understand how enrolling in SHIP may impact their financial aid. Review our Financial Aid and Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) FAQs page for more information on how enrolling and/or waiving out of SHIP may impact your awards.
For 2018-19, SHIP has been added to students' budgets and additional aid has been awarded for those students who have not waived out. Please check your awards in CalCentral for any updates to your awards.
2018-19 Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) evaluation for those who were on an approved academic plan in fall is currently taking place. If you are not meeting the conditions outlined in your approved appeal, you will be notified via email and a task in CalCentral. Visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress website to find out more about how progress is monitored for students on an approved appeal.
2019-20 Cost of Attendance Adjustment Requests
The Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request form will be available in September 2019. New this year-students will be able to complete, sign and submit the form entirely online. However, students may still fill out requests for 2018-19 via the same form.
Money Management Resources Available
Need help managing your money? Bears for Financial Success is a peer-to-peer program on campus to help you manage your personal finances. You can schedule an appointment with a peer educator or check out our website for more information.